That in and of itself may not be significant. What's significant is that despite all the places I've worked and lived over the past dozen years I've only had driver's licenses from three states: Arizona, Texas, and South Carolina.
When I finally allowed myself to give up my Arizona identity (that is, I turned in my Arizona driver's license for an SC one) last summer it was a big deal. That was significant too. Even though it's just a piece of plastic that says it's legal for me to drive my car, the state on it is a big deal to me. It's an identity. More than that, it's an identity I can (and will) choose.
Given that I'm currently working in Raleigh, and the closest thing to a residence at the moment is a hotel room here, that begs the question about which state my new Driver's License is from. It's from South Carolina.
Why I needed a new driver's license is actually irrelevant for the purposes of this discussion. Over the past few weeks I've come to terms with the fact that my SC identity isn't something as transient as a job, nor is it something I'm willing to shed again, at least not in the short-term. I never say never, but the key element in all of this is time.
Some may feel that whatever state happens to be on their driver's license is unimportant. I appreciate that, but I am not one of those people. I see people become "stranded" in life in any number of contexts for any number of reasons, but I have made and continue to make decisions to avoid that.
So today I re-affirmed that - I went to the DMV, I turned in my original SC driver's license, I got my picture taken, and now I've got my new one. There will be a Palmetto tree on my license plate for the foreseeable future, and I couldn't be happier about that. It actually feels like a burden has been lifted.
It's more than simply symbolic (although, I suppose, there is some significant symbolism involved). Again - I don't feel compelled to share specifics right now. But for me - I know where center is right now. The key is staying there.
It was truly a good weekend. I drove to Charleston Friday (it takes 4 1/2 hrs each way, so it's not trivial). I turned in my fancy rental car for my repaired truck, I enjoyed a little of Restaurant Week, and I even had the chance to do a load of laundry.
I spent all of Saturday at a class....I mean ALL day. Got there at 6:45 in the morning, and didn't leave until 5:15. at night.
I had the chance to see some friends, to spend some quality time with one particular friend who I've been missing and needing to see, and to visit with a friend I haven't spoken with in a while. I did a little shopping, I ate and drank more than I should, I didn't get to the gym, and I didn't get enough sleep. The weather was great, it's nice to have my truck back, it was nice to be "home", I watched an hour of football, and for some reason despite everything crazy that's happening in my world right now I'm calm (at least for the moment). All in all - a wonderful weekend.
I will admit that my driver's license photo this morning came out better than I hoped (I liked the previous one, but this one is better). I've got pep in my step. All things considered....no major complaints other than some logistical nightmares ahead. Still, I seem to face them on a regular basis and they always work themselves out.
Gas....I paid $3.45 in Charleston yesterday. I paid $3.54 just south of the SC/NC border. Because as soon as you cross into NC - it's $3.85. Crazy, but true. I have no idea what taxes they add to it here but I've already learned to fill up as much as I can in South Carolina.
Butt....I mentioned that I haven't been to the gym in a while, but one of the things that happens when I gain a little weight is that I can feel it in my butt. I actually like that....because when I start dropping weight the first two places that seem to get skinny are my butt and my face. I'm about to start running here again shortly, but I'm hoping to keep some butt. It makes a difference.
Money....well, not real money. But...
I got a note from the Austin Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (AGLCC). It says in part:
"The AGLCC is printing “gay money” to make our Pride booth more fun and interactive. Through public nominations and our board selections, we will be honoring you as one of the 6 people to be on one of the $3 bills! You will be listed as the “First Transgender Leader at HRC” on the money"
Needless to say, I consider this to be a tremendous honor. Lord knows what picture they're putting on it. Maybe I should forward a copy of my new driver's license photo. :)